Thursday, May 30, 2024

TV Surprise: Jon Batiste Announced Last Week That He Was Taking Off Rest of Summer as Colbert Band Leader

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Jon Batiste is taking the summer off.

Tonight Stephen Colbert re-ran his episode from last Friday, which apparently no one paid attention to including me. Colbert, in an usual move, had Batiste, his band leader, as a guest. They talked music. It was lovely. And then Colbert announced that Batiste was taking the rest of the summer off from the show.

Colbert said, “See you in September.”

Batiste has already had a roller coaster year. He won the Grammy Award in January for his album, “We Are.” He also revealed that his wife, Suleika Jaouad, a 33 year old columnist and motivational speaker, has been battling acute myeloid leukemia since 2011.

I’m also told, although unconfirmed, that Batiste has left his manager of many years, Mick Management. He’s not listed on their website anymore. Batiste is, however, sticking with Creative Artists Management as his talent rep, however.

The bandleader has already been off Colbert for several weeks. This announcement of a three month break may have to do with his wife’s illness. In November 2021, the Batistes received the news that Suleika’s cancer, which was in remission, had returned – this time more aggressively.

Jon Batiste told CBS Sunday Morning: “We’re having to hold these two realities.”

Health has to be an issue in their household. On May 6th Batiste revealed he tested positive for COVID after performing at Anna Wintour’s super spreader Met Ball.

If Batiste is really taking the summer off then he’s going out with a bang. In the last week he performed at the Time 100 gala and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. On Friday Batiste performed on the Today show, and appeared on ABC’s Soul of a Nation. It’s unclear if he’ll have one off dates over the summer. But the pressure of doing a daily talk show is removed for the meantime.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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